Rosales Early Leader at McDonalds LPGA

By Sports NetworkJune 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 McDonaldWILMINGTON, Del. -- Jennifer Rosales fired a 5-under-par 66 Thursday to take the first-round lead of the LPGA Tour's second major, the McDonald's LPGA Championship at DuPont Country Club.
Karen Stupples, Gloria Park and Chiharu Yamaguchi share second place at 4-under-par 67.
Defending champion Annika Sorenstam posted a 3-under-par 68 and is tied for fifth with Moira Dunn, Stephanie Louden and Grace Park. Park lost to Sorenstam in a playoff last year, but claimed the 2004 season's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Sorenstam started on the back nine Thursday and flew out with two birdies in her first three holes. She added a birdie at No. 18 to make the turn at 3 under, which was one shot out of the lead.
The No. 1 player in the world dropped shots at 3 and 7 to fall down the leaderboard. Sorenstam birdied her final two holes to get within two of the lead.
Grace Park took a different path to her spot on the leaderboard. She was 5 under through 14 holes, thanks to six birdies and a lone bogey. Problems arose for the season's first major winner at No. 17.
She hit a punch 6-iron right of the hole and made bogey. The runner-up last year also bogeyed 18 to fall into the group in fifth.
'This is not the finish I wanted to have,' said Park. 'I'm certainly disappointed and frustrated all at the same time, but that's golf. That's major championships.'
As eyes were on Sorenstam and Park on Thursday, it was Park's youth rival that stole the show.
Rosales, who played junior golf and collegiately against Park, parred her first three holes on Thursday, but broke into red figures for the first time at the par-4 fourth. She knocked a wedge to 10 feet and rolled home the birdie putt.
She parred her next four and closed the front nine with a 6-footer for birdie at the par-5 ninth.
Rosales used strong wedge play after the turn to make her move up the leaderboard. She hit a 50-degree wedge to 10 feet to set up birdie at the 11th, then hit the same club 5 feet farther at No. 12 for her fourth birdie of the round.
The 25-year-old reached the green with her second shot at the par-5 16th and two-putted for birdie from 35 feet. That birdie gave Rosales the first-round lead for the first time on the LPGA Tour.
'My round was pretty smooth today,' said Rosales. 'I hit a lot of fairways today and that was the key to making birdies. I missed a lot of putts out there, but I kept putting and putting until I made some.'
Rosales won for the first time on tour this season at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship and that win might be the key to her first successful run in a major championship.
'I'm happy the way I played, but we'll just take one day at a time and see where I end up on the weekend,' she said.
Stupples mixed five birdies over her first 16 holes, including a chip-in at seven, and appeared set to keep first for herself. At the 18th, she hit a 6-iron left of the green then hit a poor chip. After another chip, Stupples tapped in for par and a share of second.
'I really hit the ball well today, sometimes too well,' said Stupples, who won the season-opening Welch's/Fry's Championship. 'I hit over a couple of greens when I really struck it well.'
Gloria Park was at 4 under as she played her 16th, No. 7 at DuPont. She missed the green with a 9-iron and failed to get up-and-down for par at the hole. She rebounded with an 8-footer for birdie at her last to get into second.
'I would like to win a major, but this is only the first day, and I don't really think about winning the majors at this time,' admitted Gloria Park. 'I want to enjoy out there every day, and one hole at a time.'
Yamaguchi was flawless on Thursday with four birdies and no bogies.
'I played a very good round I think,' said Yamaguchi, a tour rookie. 'Yeah, it's very close to perfect, I think. So I'm pretty happy to do it.'
Former champions Se Ri Pak and Meg Mallon joined Kim Saiki, Seol-An Jeon, Soo Young Moon, Angela Stanford, Sherri Steinhauer, Soo-Yun Kang, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Shi Hyun Ahn and Carin Koch in a tie for eighth place at minus-2.
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    Rahm (62) takes early lead at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."